Learn About Handel's "Messiah"
Handel's Messiah, the oratorio that tells the story of Christ from the prophecy of His birth all the way through His death and resurrection, is a piece of music that is so very simple, yet complex at the same time.
For this very reason, it is the PERFECT piece of music to study with children of ALL ages.
The youngest of children are capable of drawing and expressing what they hear in a piece, while our older children can identify form, dynamics, instrumentation, and so much more.
Fun fact: Did you know the appropriate way to refer to the piece is "Messiah" and not "The Messiah"? (Just something of interest - one of MANY we will learn about this December in our SQUILT LIVE! membership)
The sheer beauty of God's word set to music is a gift in itself.
In our SQUILT studies of Handel's Messiah we will take that gift and expand on it - learning about the composer, discovering the circumstances surrounding the composition of Messiah, and then critically listening to specific sections of the oratorio.
About George Frideric Handel
Handel was one of the most prominent composers of the Baroque Era (1600-1750). He was born in Germany, but the spent the majority of his life (and eventually died) in England.
He was extremely interested in opera, and late in his career began composing oratorios.
The books Handel, Who Knew What He Liked and George Handel - Getting to Know the World's Greatest Composers are good resources for children.
The Composition of Messiah
Messiah is an oratorio. An oratorio is a large-scale musical work for orchestra and voices, usually dealing with a religious theme, and performed without the use of costumes, scenery, or action.
Messiah was composed in 1741 - the scriptural text compiled by Charles Jennens from the King James Bible. It was first performed in Dublin, Ireland in April 1742 and received its London premiere nearly a year later.
It was received modestly at first, but then it became more popular, and is now one of the best-known and most frequently performed choral works in Western music.
Teaching Sections of Messiah
For children, we want to keep the listening selections short and meaningful.
In our SQUILT LIVE! membership the first piece we will explore is "Sinfonia" - which is basically the introduction to Messiah.
Children should simply LISTEN to this three-minute piece.
What do they hear? What instruments are playing? Are they hearing different sections of music? Is the tempo changing? Are there any patterns? How does the music make them feel?
As we learn about more sections of Messiah we will approach them in the same way.
Listen quietly. Then, pull out elements of dynamics, rhythm, tempo, instrumentation (and/or what voices are being heard), form, and mood. You would be amazed at how much rich discussion can occur with one small section of music.
For children, we want to teach them the basics about the composer, the piece of music, and how to listen for some of its finer points.
Building an appreciation for the music and instilling in children the desire to know and listen MORE is our goal!
Learn About Messiah In December
This December, in SQUILT LIVE!, we will be learning all about Handel's Messiah. We will have two live lessons and a December calendar full of listening selections from Messiah.
Our month will be dedicated to this great work.
And, once December 2019 is through all of these lessons will remain in the archives, always at the disposal of our members!
Don't miss an entire month of learning about Messiah in SQUILT LIVE!. Add beauty and rest to your December schooling plans - and let us do all the planning for you!
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